While most people are celebrating the Fourth of July holiday at home, dozens of local drivers will be racing across the island searching for clues to win the 34th Annual Optimist Club Road Rally.
Last year over 40 cars registered for the rally and organizers expect just as many or more. Drivers meet in the Timbers Restaurant parking lot at noon, after the Fourth of July parade, and set out across the island searching for correct answers to a series of questions about the route. The finish line is also back at Timbers, at 703 Tarpon Bay Road, with an after party awaiting all participants.
"It's a scavenger hunt in a car," said Randy Carson, rally organizer and member of the Optimist Club. "We usually have up to 40 cars and it could be two or eight people per car. It doesn't matter how many you have in the car."
From left to right, Marit Mouchou, Randy Carson, Mark O'Brien, and John Jones, all members of the Road Rally committee, prepare for the upcoming rally at Timbers Restaurant. Mckenzie Cassidy.
Teams start every two minutes after the first car and points are awarded for elapsed time closest to a "secret," pre-established circuit time and distance, as well as correct answers to route questions. Prizes are also awarded for top rally finishers and the best decorated car. This year's theme is "We Rally for Island Youth."
Proceeds from the event benefit Optimist Club scholarship programs, available to any student in Lee County wanting to go to college, as well as other programs helping local children. The club also raises donations throughout the year with popular events like the Jingle Bell 5K Beach Walk and the Uncorked Winter Wine Festival.
Sponsorships for businesses and individuals are currently available. For $250 and $500, a sponsor gets their name on a vehicle and on the rally shirt, while for $100 sponsors only get their name on a vehicle. This year's major event sponsor is the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.
Registration for the Road Rally is a $35 donation per vehicle and forms can be picked up at Bailey's General Store, the Sanibel Cafe, the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, in The Islander and at the starting line before noon. More information and forms can also be found at www.sancapoptimist.org.
Any forms and donations can be mailed to the San-Cap Optimists Club, P.O. Box 1370, Sanibel, 33957, and donations are tax deductible because the club is a 501(c)3 organization.
Contact Randy Carson at 699-8739 or Richard McCurry at 292-4631 for more information, to donate, or prearrange a start time.
What: 34th Annual Optimist Club Road Rally
Where: Timbers Restaurant at 703 Tarpon Bay Road
When: July 4 at noon
Details: Visit www.sancapoptimist.org and call Randy Carson at 699-8739 or Richard McCurry at 292-4631 for registration information.